Book review on Finite Capacity Scheduling, Part II
Now add ten more car wash trucks, with the corresponding work to be done and add two more shifts to each truck to achieve maximum capacity and what do you have? 12 hours worth of scenario scheduling and moving around resources to see what fits best. What if a computer did it in 20 minutes? It can you know. Even though Swartzkoff has an IQ of 165 it does not mean he does not need to use the finite capacity scheduling methods to help him arrive at the most efficient scenario. It just so happens that it will work and he can use his brainpower to decide which scenario will work based on his knowledge of human motivation which may or may not be computer ready, based on the battle at hand. Another reason why it is not such a bad idea to send unmanned fighter planes into a battle zone to fight and why it is necessary to have a missile defense system set up at our perimeters. FCS scheduling works in all the tests our strategic team has placed on it from a Blitz marketing mission to a customer response system for services real time using e-commerce. FED Ex does use a finite capacity approach to overnight package delivery. It does not look like one on the surface yet it most certainly is. As teams of people use all resources at hand and move the flow real time to the next job as completed. All with such precision that it is truly predictable to schedule. Impossible? Go to Memphis at midnight and take the $200.00 tour. Every President of the US should go see it once. Every executive of every company who wants to be here in five years ought to see it. Few companies do it as well as Fed Ex. I believe the FCS model taken to its fullest could actually increase the Fed Ex system, although at first glance it would be hard to believe that anything could be more efficient than that.
FCS can handle just about anything, I put together scenarios of rain, energy shut downs, union walkouts, overruns, demand increase post commenced projects, delivery date changes, weekends, holidays, force majuers, increased prices, material missed shipments. It can all be accounted for a re-scheduled without stopping production using these methods. When Nokia and Erickson lost the chips they needed, which were produced in NM and the fires burned down the Philips plant producing the chips last year. FCS would have saved Erickson, and perhaps they would still be in the cell phone business today, instead, huge write-downs unfulfilled orders and exiting of the market sector. Nokia would have been killed too, except they scrambled and produced half the demand necessary. Each company although would have been effected would have been effected less using these methods, that I am sure of. And producing a computer model to give the answers needed is possible because the computer can re-tabulate and change no matter how far from normal.
In wartime you create the fires in the enemies supply chain or distribution channels, which pissed off the FTC when Microsoft played out side the normal battle field of what was considered and went to the supply side to wage war, as skilled practioners of the game often do, but are seldom taught. Why would they not wage war there since they built the distribution channels in the first place? They were previous victories and trophies on the wall, and Netscape wanted them for free, even though they had a half a billion dollars in an IPO to build their own. In the civil war the North needed the rivers to move supplies and troops even though they were in the souths territory. Look at a disease, its job is to spread to procreate and take over living in its host, our job is to kill the disease since it will kill us first. It spreads anyway it can. To prevent it, it maybe necessary to think outside the box and quarantine an entire country like Africa until volunteer efforts can go and stabilize the situation, which might take 10 years. We have to kill its supply chain. Each time a person gets on a plane and travels to another place it spreads, that is its supply chain. You could actually build a finite capacity-scheduling model to determine when a disease will be eradicated or how a terrorist might attack the water supply of the US to kill the most number of people in the quickest time. Then by doing a reversal of the FCS scheduling you could easily find a way to combat such an effort or prevent its overall effect if not prevent its start. And knowing this why would you not use such a model on everything that is a system or process either to roll it out or prevent it.
Saddam continually knew that he had 90 minutes move surface to air sites and re-camouflage them, and to move aircraft while the satellites could not see them. Of course we also playing the game to maximum efficiency recommissioned some SR-71s for random fly bys during the 90-minute lapse. Unknown to them we had the advantage of superior knowledge of our enemies position. We effectively took the time out of his model. Nowhere to run, no time to hide. Bingo.
General Patton use to say an army moves on its stomach, well then move them further faster and feed them less between locations. The faster they move the more distance they travel between meals and therefore less food per mile. Precisely the objective of the FCS model. The book does point out that if the whole team is not on the same page then the FCS methods do not work. Look at the Battle of Midway where the Japanese were caught with their pants down. Guessing rather than playing it safe, Heroes have been made of hunches yet FCS scheduling would have prevented this error. They screwed up. We would have beat them anyway, but it would have come at a much higher price as in one or two of our carriers also. Ask our torpedo bomber hero, and former President George Bush Sr. he was involved in this type of tactical strategy at a very personal level. It almost killed him. 3 days in a tiny one-man life raft in the Pacific was bad enough plus throw in ditching a torpedo bomber in the water without flipping it when it has been battle damaged.
Will Rogers was quoted in this book when he said Common sense is not common. With that truth revealed. It is much easier to fix the problem, first admit you have the problem and then reason through a logical answer using ALL the facts. This is why I also recommend the book Total Capacity Management by CJ McNair and Richard Vangermeersch. It is interesting the differences cited in this book in types of capacity management in that you cannot predict total capacity management unless you have pushed the envelope to new heights and find that in fact the capacity was underestimated as new innovations occur out of necessity. Such as attempting to build more muskets in the North in the Civil War to arm the troops to fight the South. Remembering the at the same time the South was commandeering factories and turning them into war manufacturing plants to compete to arm their side. Total Capacity today is not the same as tomorrow when some lunatic entrepreneur goes and breaks all the norms and industry standards. Once the barriers of thought and the limits of time, space, distance and speed are reduced or increased then the boundaries of that industry are no longer relevant. It would also be interesting to consider that the total capacity of anything is everything or nothing, depending on how you look at it. As many motivational speakers will tell you with the connect the dot trick, make one cut trick or paper cut out trick. The glass may actually be bottom less and completely empty although to you it appears half full. In the instance of Gold Mining when raw dirt and rock are processed and what appears to contain no gold has over 8 ounces in it. And therefore if all the cubic dirt and rock where processed then the total capacity of that element within that area would be astronomical in economic terms. Problem is how to mine it efficiently and there in is the other Total Capacity problem. If one could convert lead into gold it sure would be easier, the total capacity of conversion would be the issue. These authors talk about tactical and operational management and define the two types. Operational being getting the supplies near the work stations to use, which in itself involves many vendors and who also have a scheduling systems to deliver as promised. Tactical involves the decision making process used to decide while flow of production is in process. I believe that FCS can be integrated into this process and improve it. There is one last component to add to move this to service based applications, such as with the car wash guys. By adding the e-commerce and real-time call center demands from customers and knowing that we can deliver a car wash in 30 minutes or less, keeping in mind that Tom Monahan had a bigger problem and that was making the Pizza, which had its own processes. Think of the simplicity for initiating the system. Now look at the possibilities of watching the process real-time with GPS, systems, on-line transactions, using a zone defense pattern which can change to man-to-man coverage with some or all of the fleet of units. Now add in the possibility of 24-hour operations washing multiple types of items, scheduled and known accounts and on the fly call in Absolutely, Positively has to be washed overnight. Is this impossible? No it is easy, but complex. Look at the 1-800 flower case-study, combine that with Fed Ex delivery, and Dominos Pizza computer system remembering the customers name and last order. Well do not stop here, Mr Walton was no idiot either, he knew what would sell and how much of it to whom and when. A life time of studying your market dynamics will essentially drive any man to act like that, think like him and come to the same conclusions.
With the whole World dirty and everything needing a wash and different elements being washed at different times, why would it not be possible to have crews on top of crews who had scheduled work and then fill in the gaps of any extra space. Total Capacity Management right? Yes in the service sector. Does anyone else do this? Yes a few companies one out of Austin Texas, which hauls dirt and does construction, another out of Sacramento and Bay area CA who does this to do short deliveries. But they are doing it half way. Richoccet in the Bay area has real time solutions for Palm PC users and it is easily possible to use the C-Store methods for keeping track of inventories to keep track of pizzas delivered, Fed Ex packages taken in or Inventory realized and real-time ordering as in 7-11. By adding in a center half back as in a soccer game to take care of the call in orders while the other crews handled the normal accounts, until which times scheduled crews reversed their positions and falled back on the increased call ins on a day before a three day weekend. Thus taking all the work and increasing cash flow and good will amongst customers by servicing everyones needs.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs">www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
Prolific author William E. Butterworth III, who wrote under the name W.E.B. Griffin, has died aged 89.
The writer Andrea Levy, who explored the experience of Jamaican British people in a series of novels over 20 years has died, aged 62, from cancer.
After starting to write as a hobby in her early 30s, Levy published three novels in the 1990s that brought her positive reviews and steady sales. But her fourth novel, Small Island, launched her into the literary big league, winning the 2004 Orange prize, the Whitbread book of the year and the Commonwealth Writers' prize, selling more than 1m copies around the world and inspiring a 2009 BBC adaptation.
Betty Ballantine, half of a groundbreaking husband-and-wife publishing team that helped invent the modern paperback and vastly expand the market for science fiction and other genres through such blockbusters as "The Hobbit" and "Fahrenheit 451," has died aged 99.
She was just 20 and attending school in England, in 1939, when she met and married 23-year-old Ian Ballantine, an American at the London School of Economics. Using a $500 wedding gift from Betty's father, the Ballantines started out as importers of Penguin paperbacks from England and founded two enduring imprints: Bantam Books and Ballantine Books, both now part of Penguin Random House.
In 1988 the 14th novel by a little-known 63-year-old British author was published in New York. The Shell Seekers, the 500-page story of a woman, Penelope Keeling, looking back on her life and loves during the second world war, took the US by storm.
The New York Times reviewer wrote: "Rosamunde Pilcher, where have you been all my life?" It sat in the bestseller list for 49 weeks in hardback and then tipped Tom Wolfe off the No 1 spot in paperback. The Shell Seekers was translated into more than 40 languages, selling around 10m copies.
Pilcher, who has died aged 94, wrote completely absorbing page-turners, taking what was called "romantic fiction" to an altogether higher, wittier level...
Dan Mallory, who writes under the name A. J. Finn, went to No. 1 with his début thriller, "The Woman in the Window." His life contains even stranger twists.
JD Salinger's son has confirmed for the first time that the late author of The Catcher in the Rye wrote a significant amount of work that has never been seen, and that he and his father's widow are "going as fast as we freaking can" to get it ready for publication.
Salinger died in 2010, leaving behind a small but perfectly formed body of published work that has not been added to since 1965's New Yorker story, "Hapworth 16, 1924." Rumors have circulated for years that the creator of one of the 20th century's most enduring characters, Holden Caulfield, continued to write over the ensuing decades he spent in the New Hampshire village of Cornish, far from public view.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, his son Matt Salinger has finally revealed, definitively, that his father never stopped writing and that "all of what he wrote will at some point be shared."
One of the biggest stars to come out of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week wasn't a CEO or a head of state or a venture capitalist. It was Rutger Bregman, a Dutch journalist and historian, who used his speaking time at the conference to lambaste the rich attendees for failing to talk about the one thing we know could fight wealth inequality: raising taxes for the kind of people who go to Davos.
The winner of Australia's richest literary prize did not attend the ceremony. His absence was not by choice.
Behrouz Boochani, whose debut book won both the Aus$25,000 non-fiction prize at the Victorian premier's literary awards and the Aus$100,000 Victorian prize for literature on Thursday night, is not allowed into Australia.
The Kurdish Iranian writer is an asylum seeker who has been kept in purgatory on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea for almost six years, first behind the wire of the Australian offshore detention centre, and then in alternative accommodation on the island.
Now his book No Friend But the Mountains – composed one text message at a time from within the detention centre – has been recognised by a government from the same country that denied him access and locked him up.
The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es has won the overall Costa Book Award, with the judges declaring it, "the hidden gem of the year."
This biography tells the true story of a young Jewish girl in Holland during World War II, who hides from the Nazis in the homes of an underground network of foster families, one of them the author's grandparents.
Steve Cavendish, a former editor of the Nashville Scene and Washington City Paper, writes about the dire state of local newspapers, and his hopes that his new venture, to relaunch the Nashville Banner online as a nonprofit, will provide a model that will revitalize local media:
Wednesday was a bloodbath for journalists. BuzzFeed said it would lay off 15 percent of its employees, and Verizon Media announced it would cut 7 percent from its newsrooms at HuffPost, AOL and Yahoo. Worst of all, a wave of layoffs tore through Gannett newsrooms across the country that day, hitting staffs that had already been thinned by years of nearly annual cuts. In December, Gannett's USA Today Network president, Maribel Wadsworth, told her employees that the nation's largest-circulation newspaper chain "will be a smaller company" in the future and, well, the future is now. Wadsworth is facing a lot of pressures: Print revenue is down, digital and mobile revenue aren't nearly enough, and now a hedge fund promising even deeper cuts wants to acquire the company. If the future of corporate news operations looks bleak, that's because it is.
In Tennessee, we've been watching the slow-motion destruction of our news institutions under Gannett for a few decades now, and the idea that things are about to get even worse is appalling. As badly as the country needs strong coverage of national news these days, the local news landscape is important, too. And what happened here mirrors what's already happened in city after city.